News Release

Snowden-Germany Deal in the Works? Testimony for Asylum

http://www.accuracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/German-politician-Hans-Ch-010.jpgKEVIN GOSZTOLA, kevin.gosztola at firedoglake.com, @kgosztola
Gosztola writes “The Dissenter” blog for Firedoglake. He said today: “Presumably, if Snowden were to testify about spying on the Chancellor, Germany wouldn’t turn him over to the country that had done the spying.”

Gosztola just wrote the piece “Exclusive: Human Rights Attorneys Have Been Working with German Politicians on Asylum for Snowden,” which states: “Human rights attorneys have been discussing the possibility of asylum for former NSA contractor Edward Snowden with left-wing politicians in Germany. The plan being developed involves giving testimony in an official government setting on recent revelations, such as the fact that the United States spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. In return, he would be given asylum.

“Jesselyn Radack, an attorney and national security and human rights director of the Government Accountability Project, confirmed the above details as part of an exclusive for Firedoglake. She noted that this news, although premature, had leaked on Twitter by an ‘unidentified’ source.

“The tweet included a hat-tip to WikiLeaks, which may suggest that Sarah Harrison, who helped Snowden fly out of Hong Kong and later obtain asylum from Russia, has been part of efforts to secure a German asylum offer. Harrison has stayed in Russia fearing if she traveled back to the United Kingdom she might be detained.

“Radack traveled with NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley and former CIA officer Ray McGovern to Moscow to meet Snowden earlier this month. She has represented a number of NSA whistleblowers and spoken on a number of occasions on behalf of Snowden.”

Gosztola added: “The Local in Germany reported a number of details about this on October 28. The two main political parties in Germany have agreed to debate the ‘spying accusations’ on November 18, as part of a ‘special sitting of parliament.’ Calls for the parliamentary investigative committee to ‘look into the spying accusations’ are growing amongst politicians.

“‘Some are even demanding Edward Snowden be coaxed out of hiding in Russia, where he has been granted asylum, to travel to Germany to act as the committee’s star witness,’ the Local reported.

“Thomas Opperman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany said Snowden is ‘highly credible’ and ‘obviously a valuable witness’ for Germany. Opperman heads the ‘parliamentary control committee,’ which is responsible for oversight of the country’s intelligence services.”

The Local reported: “…if Snowden were to abandon his hideout in Russia, added Oppermann, he could not see Germany handing him over to the USA to face trial.

“Germany was unlikely, he said, to deliver ‘someone who had uncovered a serious act of spying against the Chancellor’ over to the very country ‘which did this spying.'”

Other recent pieces by Gosztola on related issues include: “More Evidence of NSA’s Hoarding Complex: Agency Collecting Data from Links to Google, Yahoo Data Centers,” “At Congressional Briefing, Drone Victims Share Dreams of a Life in Pakistan Without Fear” and “Senator Feinstein’s Fraudulent Response to Revelations of NSA Spying on U.S. Allies.” Gosztola covers secrecy, whistleblowing, NSA, drones, WikiLeaks and related civil liberties issues for Firedoglake. He is co-author of the book Truth & Consequences: The U.S. vs. Private Manning.